Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Doe1, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. Doe1 macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2011
    Hey ppl,

    I am suffering from a flat mate. He has been too curious about what I have in my macbook. He got me set a password for login. After I set it I was relieved.

    However, yesterday when I came home late, the small light on the charger tip was orange, meaning that it is charging although I left charging when I left in the morning. I was expecting it to be fully charged.

    So, I am worrying that he somehow have used my macbook. I am wondering if there are anyways to see the login times/durations or failed login attemps.

    BTW I have changed my password to something impossible to be found in case he has found it out. This guy is good at computers, do you think he can find the password when he has physical contact with the device??

    I will be very happy if anyone can help me and suggest me something

  2. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    Is it possible to access the computer and data, having physical access and not knowing any passwords? Yes, it is.

    Is it possible he already setup a master password he can use at any time? Yes, it is.

    Can you, us, or anyone else tell if he already has the specific knowledge to do any of this, or is able to find it by googling the web? No, we can't.

    1. Tell the flatmate to leave your stuff alone.
    2. Get a safe or lockbox and keep your computer locked up while away from it.
    3. Replace the flatmate.

    Seriously, if he won't leave your stuff alone after you tell him to, what were you going to do anyway?
  3. Aniday macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2009
    1. Set a firmware password.
    (Note: be careful and never forget the password.) He wont be able to boot into the OS without knowing the firmware password or the login password if this is done.

    2. Encrypt parts of your hard drive you don't want your flatmate seeing. You can do this by creating one or more encrypted .DMG's with Disk Utility and stuffing them with various files you want to keep to yourself. You can also mess around with an application called TrueCrypt. Again, be careful and know what you're doing before you start any major encryption.
    It's worth noting that Lion will have full disk encryption, so that should keep Ubuntu flash drive users from snooping in your files.
  4. JediMeister macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    The firmware password on a Mac is not the equivalent of a power-on password on a PC. A firmware password will prevent someone without it from changing the startup disk, booting to an install DVD, or resetting the PRAM. But the computer will still boot into the OS with one present and configured.
  5. Aniday macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2009
    I know that. But assuming the intruder does not know the login password he would then try to boot from a CD, go into single user mode and make himself a new admin account, and so on. I was implying that wouldn't be possible with a firmware password.

    I was merely listing things he should do. Perhaps I should have been more clear.

  6. Doe1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2011
    I checked and no master passwords is set now. I will make sure I have firmware password and master password set.

    I am not sure what booting or changing the start up disk stands for. I want to make this clear. You said that he could have set a new admin account. Does that mean he might have reached every single folder in the harddisk. Are there anyways to check if he has done this, currently there is only one admin account.

    Also as I have asked before, is possible to check the login times and the failed login attemps?

    Thank you very much for all the helps you have provided guys.

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